Do you know where to start when getting your Universal Orlando packing list together?
I receive a lot of questions about what to bring to Universal Orlando Resort. Many theme park travelers want to know what basic Universal essentials are needed for a day at the parks and for the best vacation.
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What to Know Before You Go
Before we get into the what to pack for Universal Orlando, your first question may be:
What’s the best itinerary for Universal Studios Orlando?
You’ll want to save time on your Universal Orlando trip, so you must have a game-plan to save time and see the most popular attractions.
More questions you may have are:
What time does Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure open?
Universal Studios Florida is open 365 days a year from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. in the regular season.
Hours may change based on the busyness of the park.
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How much does it cost to go to Universal Studios in Florida or Islands of Adventure?
The cost of admission starts at $125, but I like discounts so I use Undercover Tourist to find cheap Universal Studios tickets.
What should I do first at Universal Studios Orlando?
One of the best Universal Studios Orlando tips that I can give you is to start at Diagon Alley first.
This Harry Potter-inspired area will fill up quickly making the line for the two attractions (Escape from Gringotts and Ollivanders wand experience) extremely long.
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Can I bring a backpack to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure?
You absolutely can as long as you do not pack any prohibited items.
To prevent any embarrassment at the security checkpoints, I’ve listed the items you are able to take with you inside of the Universal Orlando parks.
Please keep in mind that Universal is very strict on what it allows you to bring.
- Bottled water
- Small snacks that do not require heating
- Any food required for medical purposes and medically indicated nutritional supplements
- Food required for special dietary needs
- Baby food/baby formula
- Soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5″ wide x 6″ high x 6″ deep
- Alcoholic beverages
- Picnic lunches
- Food that requires heating or refrigeration
- Glass containers
- Hard-sided coolers
- Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5″ wide x 6″ high x 6″ deep
- Suitcases and bags with wheels
- Folding chairs
- Clothing with offensive language or content
- Clothing that represents someone as emergency personnel
- Weapons of any kind
What should I wear to Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure?
Lightweight clothing such as shorts, leggings, comfy shoes, a t-shirt, a hat, and sunglasses are all perfect for your trip.
The key is to be comfortable, yet stylish!
What should I pack for Universal Orlando in summer?
If it’s in the summer, you want to prepare for the heat and humidity. So, items such as:
- Lightweight clothing
- Water Mist Fan
- Cooling Towel
- A Hat and sunglasses
- Travel size deodorant (a must have)
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How should I pack if I’m going to Universal with children?
If you’re not traveling alone to Universal, then you’ll need to think about the needs of your child or kid that is with you.
You’ll want to have:
- A change of clothing
- Autograph book
- Cheaper souvenirs purchased before trip
Can you bring bags on rides at Universal Orlando?
On most thrill rides at Universal you are not allowed to bring your bag or any loose articles.
There are lockers provided for free for you in front of the rides that require you to place your items inside of them.
The Importance of Planning Your Universal Orlando Packing List
I know you’ve probably had times where you’ve realized that an item you intended to bring was left on the kitchen counter?
Sometimes these items are things you can’t pack for days as they’re still in use until you are ready to start your solo vacation.
Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!
Packing for a trip to Universal Orlando is not always an easy feat.
Whether you intend to be at Universal for a few days, you should be prepared not only for moody teenagers, but the Florida weather.
In order for you to do this, you need to step up your packing game.
A lot of people find it difficult to prepare adequately for such trips, but with this ultimate Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios packing checklist and tips, you’ll be ready to start your EPIC adventure in no time!
5 Universal Orlando Packing List Tips for Adults
1 – As Much as Possible, Try Not to Over Pack…but I get it if you do!
First of all, if you have a Universal Orlando packing checklist, try not to outdo that list.
You should always bring spare clothing, especially t-shirts if you do not intend to do laundry while on your Orlando vacation.
2 – Prepare for the Heat, Humidity, and Rain
Florida weather is more humid than most people think. So, it may be a bit too much for just a regular t-shirt.
This is why you’d need to possibly pack multiple lightweight shirts to defeat the heat and humidity.
Plus, you will most likely need to change your shirt because of the extreme heat if you plan on visiting Universal Orlando anytime between June and late September.
Hipster Power Tip: Always pack a small umbrella to not only cover you during the rain, but to beat the Florida sun. You can find a UV Umbrella here!
3 – Start Packing Early
When planning a trip to Orlando, it’s vital that you start packing early.
The perfect hack is to put your suitcase in the center of your bedroom and gradually put the things on your Universal packing list inside of it.
Packing this way makes it so much easier and less stressful as your departure day approaches.
4 – Eliminate Those Awkward Situations
When prepping for your trip, you’ll want to get an additional carry-on bag ready to keep your essentials that are needed for your travel day.
If you’re like me, then you know that your carry-on is so vital just in case a not so magical moment happens like the loss of your luggage.
Carry-on Items Such As:
- An extra outfit or t-shirt
- Travel toothbrush and toothpaste
- A TSA approved snack
- Makeup (lip gloss, mascara, eye-liner)
Watch the Full Universal Orlando Packing List Video here on YouTube!
5 – Have Snacks Available
Universal Orlando Resort has some pretty decent theme park food options available, but it can hurt your travel budget.
So, in order to keep your food budget under control, you should consider packing some snacks that can help hold you over in between your main Universal meals.
Saving money on Universal food will allow you to enjoy other things like special events or the incredible Universal Studios merchandise.
E.T. Adventure Forest Smelling Candle
The Ultimate Universal Orlando Packing List for Adults
Now that we know how to pack for our week-long Universal Orlando vacation, let’s look at what to pack.
Below are a few items to help you prepare your own packing checklist.
What should I pack for a week at Universal?
Let’s start with the obvious, clothes.
Clothing for Universal
You always want to pack comfortable items such as shirts, shorts, sneakers, swimwear, pajamas and underwear.
Pay special attention to the type of undergarments that you bring since you’ll want something that’s extremely comfortable and something that can withstand the heat of Florida.
Remember, you’ll be doing A LOT of walking so you want to always think of ways to prevent any injuries such as blisters, muscle soreness, and foot pain on your Universal Orlando Resort vacation.
As a solo traveler, this list can be endless since you’ll want to make sure you have all your basics covered.
Some of the things to think of are:
- Hand Wash
- Lip Balm
- Nail Cutters
- Nail Polish
- Q Tips
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Shower Gel
- Tampons or Sanitary Towels
- A Toothbrush
- Wet Wipes
If you’re staying in a luxury Orlando vacation home, then you may end up doing your laundry. So, you should include some laundry soap and bags on your checklist.
You can always check with your resort to see if the offer free laundry detergent.
A lot of times it is easy to forget your passport, photo I.D., boarding pass or your hotel confirmation number. This is why packing important paperwork early should always be a high priority to you.
Other necessary documents include:
- Car Rental Information
- Credit Cards
- Insurance Coverage
I do understand that we are in the digital age, so all these can be saved on your phone. I am old school so I like to have my physical copy just in case I can’t access any of the documents from my phone.
Now the Pharmacist side of me has to come out.
When taking any trip, whether a business trip or a relaxing vacation, it’s important to make sure you have all your refills lined up and completed.
You’ll also want to have any special instructions on you at all times that way if there’s an emergency someone will be able to help you.
I recommend having the essential over-the-counter meds (OTC) on you for one of those “just-in-case” scenarios.
OTC’s Such As:
- Pain or Fever Meds- Acetaminophen (Also known as Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Also known as Motrin)
- Anti-Histamines – Loratadine (Also known as Claritin) or Diphenhydramine (Also known as Benadryl)
- Med to Help Diarrhea – Loperamide (Also known as Imodium)
- Anti-Nausea/Motion Sickness Med – Meclizine (Also known as Dramamine)
Hipster Power Tip: Don’t forget to bring a pack of disposable masks to Universal Orlando. You can read about the NEW FACECOVER policy here!
What to Pack in Universal Orlando Park Bag?
Now that you know what to place in your suitcase for Universal, let’s go through the essentials needed for a day at the park.
1 – Small Bag
Harry Potter Hybrid Bag
The Harry Potter Hybrid Bag is a brown faux leather bag with a card holder purse on back. It includes 11 card holders, an I.D. holder, and a fully lined 48″ Chain shoulder strap 7.5″ x 4.5.”
A Hipster approved bag that can carry your Universal Orlando packing essentials that’s not too big.
2 – Stylish, but Comfortable Clothing
Get the official ThemeParkHipster t-shirt and rock out on your solo Universal Studios trip!
3 – Comfortable Shoes
Under Armour Men’s Strive 7 – 2E Training Cross-Trainer Shoe
I absolutely must have a pair of Under Armour shoes on for any theme park trip! I have found them to be the most comfortable sneakers that are long-lasting for those intense theme park trips.
This shoe is breathable and lightweight with a spacer mesh upper and stitched leather overlays for support & stability. Making it the perfect theme park shoe.
It also has a urethane welding & webbed lacing to lock down the ball of the foot.
4 – Small Snacks
Cookies Chips & Candies Snacks Variety Pack Bulk Sampler Assortment (Care Package 40 Count)
This food care package is put together by the Variety Fun company and great for a day at Universal Studios.
Just be sure to have your favorite snack available to help keep your Universal Orlando budget low.
5 – Have Universal Orlando App Downloaded
With the official Universal Orlando Resort™ App (free download), you can purchase and redeem select theme park tickets, see the latest wait times for rides and attractions, and more.
It’s also where you can map out your day before your trip, making it the ultimate must-have to make your trip even more epic.
6 – Autograph Book and Pen
Autograph Book: Celebrity Autograph Book for Adults & Kids, 100 Blank Pages, Starlight Design, Keepsake, Memory Book
This famous autograph book is always a theme park must have for fans of various icons. The inside pages contain 100 blank sheets of high quality white paper suitable for writing in pen or pencil.
7 – Photo Spot Checklist
8 – Pennies for the Penny Machine
Pressed pennies are a relatively inexpensive souvenir and the machines that create them can be found at many attractions and landmarks around the park.
9 – The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide Handbook
This book will show you how to courageously go to Universal Orlando Resort solo and how to save time and money while planning for your trip.
The easy to read guidebook will also dispel the myths of going to theme parks alone and will inspire you to create your own solo theme park memories.
10 – Universal Orlando Resort Guidebook
The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando is written by a former Universal Orlando employee.
11 – Theme Park Tickets
12 – Universal Orlando Resort Parks Maps
Be sure to download the park maps prior to your visit. It will give you an ideal game plan before you step foot into the Universal Orlando gates.
13 – Interactive Wand
Wizarding World of Harry Potter Professor Dumbledore Interactive Wand
14 – Wizard Robe
Harry Potter Robe Adult Costume
Because no Wizarding World of Harry Potter trip is complete without the perfect Hogwarts robe!
If you’re thinking about have a Walt Disney World vacation, don’t forget to save and print your own Ultimate Disney packing list here!
15 – Hand Sanitizer
PURELL Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer – Travel Sized Jelly Wrap Portable Sanitizer Bottles, Scented – (1 oz, Pack of 8)
This theme park must have is essential when wanting to prevent any unnecessary germs.
And if you ever sit back and watch what people do with their hands before they touch a doorknob or ride handlebar, then you’ll understand why you cannot forget this item.
The PURELL Winter Season scents includes 4 winter inspired scents with JELLY WRAP carriers. The convenient 1-ounce flip top cap bottle attaches to purses, backpacks, key chains, diaper bags or gym bags.
With everything that has happened, you don’t want to leave this item off of your Universal Orlando packing list.
16 – An Appetite for Butterbeer
As you make your way around the Universal Orlando Resort, no trip would be complete without trying the staple drink, Butterbeer.
You can have it many ways: frozen, warm, and served as ice-cream.
In case you’re a Muggle, Butterbeer is a drink mentioned several times in the Harry Potter books. It is the drink of choice for many of the adolescents through out the famous Wizarding story.
It’s a staple drink and a must have beverage whenever you visit Universal Studios.
How is Butterbeer served?
- Cold Butterbeer
- Frozen Butterbeer
- Hot Butterbeer (seasonal)
- Butterbeer Potted Cream
- Fudge Butterbeer
- Butterbeer Soft Serve Ice-Cream
Sooooo many options to chose from!!!
Where to find Butterbeer in Universal Studios Orlando?
You can find a Butterbeer offering of some sort inside the Diagon Alley section of Universal Studios at:
- The Leaky Cauldron
- The Hopping Pot
- Sugarplum’s Sweetshop
- Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour
Where to find Butterbeer in Islands of Adventure?
You can find a Butterbeer offering of some sort inside the Hogsmeade section of Islands of Adventure at:
- Three Broomsticks
- Hog’s Head pub
- The Butterbeer street carts
Don’t Forget to Pack These Items in Your Universal Bag
Check out some of the best backpacks for Universal Orlando here!
Final Thoughts on Your Universal Orlando Packing List
Taking a vacation to Universal Orlando Resort can be fulfilling, so try not to stress too much if you feel like your packing list overwhelming.
Make the journey of packing for Universal an adventure and just enjoy the anticipation for a magical trip.
Did I miss an item? If so, let me know in the comments section below!
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
(Original article date April 2018/Updated May 14, 2021)